He hath made Him to be sin for us, … that we might be made the righteousness of God.… 2 Cor. 5:21.
The modern view of the death of Jesus is that He died for our sins out of sympathy. The New Testament view is that He bore our sin not by sympathy, but by identification. He was made to be sin. Our sins are removed because of the death of Jesus, and the explanation of His death is His obedience to His Father, not His sympathy with us. We are acceptable with God not because we have obeyed, or because we have promised to give up things, but because of the death of Christ, and in no other way. We say that Jesus Christ came to reveal the Fatherhood of God, the loving-kindness of God; the New Testament says He came to bear away the sin of the world. The revelation of His Father is to those to whom He has been introduced as Saviour: Jesus Christ never spoke of Himself to the world as one Who revealed the Father, but as a stumbling-block (see John 15:22–24 ). John 14:9 was spoken to His disciples.
That Christ died for me, therefore I go scot free, is never taught in the New Testament. What is taught in the New Testament is that “He died for all” (not—He died my death), and that by identification with His death I can be freed from sin, and have imparted to me His very righteousness. The substitution taught in the New Testament is twofold: “He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” It is not Christ for me unless I am determined to have Christ formed in me.